DJ Zac Barr
Here are some helpful tips for having an outstanding reception! (We'll talk a LOT more about these as we really get into the planning of your Celebration of Love!)
While it's good to give your professionals an idea of what's important to you, listen to their advice and input, and most of all, trust them to do their job.
Avoid asking the DJ to do any single activity that will last more than 15 minutes at your reception (ie. dance instruction, trivia games, etc.). The reason for this is that the cocktail hour, dinner, and formalities will take approximately THREE hours of your reception, which only leaves TWO hours for dancing. Since these activities typically only involve 10% of your guests, the remaining 90% of your guests may choose to leave if dancing is interrupted for an extended period.
Do not seat any guests who are "noise-sensitive," (grandparents, etc.) within 25 feet of the DJ set-up area. With close attention to these major details, none of your guests will complain or be annoyed because of a perceived loud presentation!
While I never turn down a good meal, it is not necessary to provide a meal for me. However, keep in mind that your photographer and videographer started their work well before the ceremony, and therefore should be fed. Please remind the banquet facility to serve dinner for the photographer and videographer immediately after the head table and parent's tables. If your professionals are fed last, they'll only be starting their dinner when your guests are ready to dance.
If you are going to greet your guests at their tables, make sure to start going table to table during dinner (between courses, etc.) This will allow you more time to dance and enjoy your special day.
The bride and groom (as well as the wedding party) should participate in the dancing as much as possible. If the entire wedding party is on the dance floor, guests will definitely join them.
If the bride is dancing, guests will NEVER leave her dancing alone!
The bride and groom should NEVER leave the reception for any reason. When guests don't see the bride and groom enjoying the celebration, they may be inclined to leave.
Plan to have the parent dances at the end of dinner, right before the cake cutting. This ensures that everyone is still wearing their tie, that hair is till in place and the photographs will be AMAZING!
Danceable music is what's going to ensure that your guests have the best time, so keep this in mind when making requests to your DJ. 'Mid-tempo' music (e.g.. Dave Matthews, Blink 182, Pink Floyd, etc.) may sound great in your car or by the campfire, however, it is not danceable, and will almost certainly spell disaster for the dance floor.
One thing that works well is to develop a list of "less danceable" requests which can be worked into the dinner/cocktail hour. This way, you get to hear all the music you want, and keep the dance floor full.
Remember that you're inviting guests of all ages. If you want all of your guests to enjoy the reception, allow the DJ to play music for everyone.
Lastly, it's important to remember this is YOUR day.... Relax, sit back and have a good time! Let your other Pros and me do the worrying; it's what we're good at!